Will Rick Santorum Rise Again On Tuesday?

From The Washington Examiner's Byron York:

On Monday morning, the eve of caucuses and primaries in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, the Romney campaign sent out notice it would hold a conference call to discuss rival Rick Santorum's "long history of pork-barrel spending." The call would feature former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty explaining why Santorum "is simply not ready to be president."

There isn't much polling for the three states holding contests on Tuesday, but one survey in Minnesota put Santorum slightly ahead of Romney, who is coming off wins in Florida and Nevada. It's no surprise the Romney campaign directed its guns at Santorum.

Good showings on Tuesday, Santorum aides believe, will allow Santorum to use the coming three weeks without a Republican primary or caucus -- Feb. 7 to 28 -- to beef up his campaign and finally emerge as the one-on-one rival to Romney.

Back in Iowa, voters turned to Santorum after first exhausting other possibilities; when they looked around, they realized he had been there all along. Recently he's been plugging along in the expectation that Gingrich will self-destruct, and then a Santorum moment will come again.

But it's entirely possible that neither Santorum nor Gingrich will pull ahead in the race to challenge Romney. If that happens, Romney will be home free, grateful that his considerable Republican opposition was never able to unite behind a single challenger.

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published this page in In The News 2012-02-07 00:33:43 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy